Here's a nice idea for New Year's Eve celebration: cute mini cakes baked with champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling wine. I got the idea from here but used a different recipe for the cakes, frosting, fruit, and chocolate garnish.
Searching for fried food to make for the Jewish festival of lights holiday, Hanukkah, which began December 8 and will end on the 16th, I was surprised to find that the sweet snack called bimuelos which are very similar to the Filipino buñuelos are actually related. Although the recipes are different, they are both deep fried and served with syrup or honey or simply dusted with sugar. The tiny snacks are really really delicious drizzled with honey. It's also good with caramelized condensed milk but I prefer them with honey. I had for lunch all the bimuelos in the picture after photographing them. I couldn't resist the crispy crust and light as feather puffy honeycombed crumb.
I'm seeing red food items everywhere, it's the season after all. One of the baked items I wanted to make since I saw them in one of the blogs I visit are those cute red velvet cake donuts. I never liked cake donuts so baked them with yeast and topped with slightly sweet maple flavored whipped cream. You can also dip them in cream cheese glaze, if preferred. Yummy with either topping.
I read about 35 fiction and 5 non-fiction books this year and viewed hundreds of movies, half were foreign language. Most on this list came out in 2012; some a few years ago. Not included here are non-fiction books and movies.
Books Fiction Best
Timbuctoo Tahir Shah
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
50 Shades of Grey
E. L. James
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The Man from Beijing
The Casual Vacancy
J. K. Rowling
Movies (Fiction) Best
Marvel's The Avengers
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
The Hunger Games
The Raid: Redemption
The Adventures of Tintin
the bad plus
Never Trust a Happy Song
>I was too lazy to link to amazon; if you are curious or interested, the amazon box is at the right sidebar.
The recipe for these cakes had been in draft for many months already but I couldn't find the time to bake them. These are supposed to be Filipino style butter cake made with Danish butter. The photo of the individual mamon-like cake that inspired me to look for a recipe was on one of my facebook friends' weekend breakfast table.
For Thanksgiving I made chicken drumstick confit in place of the usual turkey. Duck is my favorite fowl to confit but I wanted to try if chicken is worth the trouble, and they are. These are the most delicious chicken dish I had in a while. It takes 2 days to marinate and slow cook in the oven but the result is very tasty and moist chicken.
The dish inspiration for November 2012 Kulinarya Cooking Club is Sisig. This appetizer has become so popular it has spawned numerous variations and fusion including sisig pizza. Thank you Iska, Erwin, and Jenn for choosing one of my favorites.
pork skin roll-up with tomato sauce, crusty Italian bread
and Parmesan cheese "lacy cookie"
Ah yes, pork skin is still a favorite of mine. It is cheap and protein rich, can be prepared barbecue Korean or Filipino-style, and a great addition to Cassoulet and Italian Sunday Gravy. I adapted a simple recipe for Sicilian pork skin roll-up and simmered the roll-ups in Sunday Gravy tomato sauce. You may use your favorite Italian tomato sauce. For decoration and to add crunch and more cheese flavor, I made Parmesan cheese "lacy cookies". The dish is good...really really good.
I was on the phone the other day with a friend and she mentioned Philippine-style pineapple pie is becoming almost as popular as buco (young coconut) pie. Some have layers of both pineapple and buco. Because I haven't been introduced to this pie, I just have to bake.
I've expanded my use of pumpkin and squash this season. I already made [and demolished] pumpkin pastillas de leche (milk candies) and also added mashed cooked pumpkin to yeast waffles. These waffles are really delicious specially with heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup and sprinkled with pumpkin seed brittle. I love pumpkins!
Pumpkin Yeast Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups mashed pumpkin ½ tablespoon instant yeast 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk 1 cup water 6 tablespoons light olive or grapeseed oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Mix in the rest of ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Preheat waffle maker and bake according to manufacturer's directions.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup pure maple syrup
Beat together syrup and cream until thick but still pourable. Transfer into a squirt bottle if desired.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
¼ cup sugar
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Cook sugar over medium heat in a skillet until caramelized and golden in color. Quickly stir in toasted seeds and transfer in one layer into a buttered piece of aluminum foil. Let cool completely; break into small pieces.
This is my non-alcoholic version of Bellini, a refreshing drink made with white peach juice and Prosecco. I pureed the fruit with a little sugar and added crushed ice, seltzer water, and ginger beer. I also mixed some of the puree with just seltzer water for a stronger peach flavor but I like the one with ginger beer more. You may substitute frozen puree or bottled juice for the fresh fruit puree.
white and yellow peaches
White Peach and Ginger Beer
2 ripe white peaches, well chilled
1 cupcrushed ice
1 cupseltzer or sparkling water, well chilled
1 cup ginger beer, well chilled
Peel peaches, remove stones and discard; dice peaches and puree with the sugar.
Divide puree between 2 tall glasses. Stir in ½ cup ice into puree. Pour ½ cup each seltzer water and ginger beer. Stir gently with a metal stirrer.
The vendor at the farmer's market was so generous, he gave me 3 extra white corn cobs; 15 in all for $3.00. I already boiled and ate more than my share of corn and decided to make cream-style with 5 pieces. These white corn are super sweet, starchier too, and sticky just the way I like it.
Chocolate-filled croissants and toast with chocolate spread are my favorites for breakfast and thought for a change why not fill sweet dough with chocolate candy. I thought dark Toblerone would be great to fill the sweet buns. They came out so soft, not too sweet, and are perfect with the slightly bittersweet chocolate. I made the buns a little thicker because I want more bread than chocolate. I can have these every day for breakfast with my milky espresso.
5 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespooninstant yeast
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup hot water (120° F)
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoonkosher salt
1 cupunsalted butter, at room temperature
3 barsmilk or dark Toblerone
1beaten egg for egg wash
In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, yeast, dry milk, and sugar. Add hot water and with dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to low-medium, add eggs one at a time, then the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add salt and beat for 1 minute more.
Increase speed to medium high and continue mixing, adding butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until each butter addition is absorbed. Dough will be soft and sticky. Knead until dough is elastic, shiny, and comes off the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough into a container, cover with plastic wrap and leave on the kitchen counter until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours until well-chilled.
Divide bars into sections; set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 3 portions. Refrigerate 2 portions while shaping the first one. Flatten dougn into a 24 inch x 5 inch rectangle. Place 12 Toblerone triangles 1¼ inches apart along the lower half of the dough rectangle. Fold the other half over the chocolate and pinch the dough edges on 3 sides. Gently press in between chocolate triangles and cut at an angle with a sharp knife. Place pieces 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough portions. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Brush tops of buns with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes until buns are golden.
made for each other: sweet soft bread and bittersweet chocolate